The first black quarterback in the National Football League was Frederick Douglass "Fritz" Pollard. He played the position for the Akron Pros beginning in 1919 or 1920.
Pollard and teammate Bobby Marshall were the first black players in professional football history. In the National Football League's first season, the two players helped the Pros win the championship. The rules of the game at the time virtually prohibited the forward pass, something typically associated with the quarterback position. However, because Pollard was often the player who lined up behind the center to receive the snaps, he is considered a quarterback, despite throwing very few touchdown passes in his career.